Fayette Commissioner Barlow Apologizes

Fayette County Commissioner David Barlow issued an apology on Wednesday for statements last week calling Democrats “Demoncrats.” Erick wrote about Barlow’s remarks yesterday. According to the Fayette Citizen, Barlow apologized by saying,

My passion for Jesus Christ and saving lives was wrongly portrayed by me this past Thursday evening. During a regular commission meeting, I gave a prepared statement to our local press and during commissioners comments read the statement into the record. I was wrong. I spoke with Ms. Pota Coston and offered my humble apology to her and asked for her forgiveness, which she graciously gave. Also, I am sending this apology to the other board members to include the local Democratic Party, asking for their forgiveness as well. I truly regret my comments and would like everyone to know that I look forward to working with Pota as we move Fayette County forward.

Barlow was roundly criticized for his remarks by the chairs of the Fayette County Democratic Committee and the Fayette County GOP, along with Commission Chair Steve Brown, who penned a letter to the editor condemning the content of his remarks but defending the commissioner’s right to say them:

In prepared remarks, Commissioner Barlow demeaned people in the audience and others in our community, namely Democrats, calling them “demons” and “evil.” There have been consistent verbal and written attacks on the Internet that consist of name-calling and venomous insults of Democrats and specifically female Democrats.

Commissioner Barlow often adds that his insults are given in the name of God as witnessed in Thursday’s display at our meeting with him saying, “I declare this, in the mighty name of Jesus.”

I had to sit through one tirade where Commissioner Barlow debased “the Blacks” with stereotypical racial insults, saying he knew such things to be true from his days of living in Mississippi. I reminded him in front of colleagues that he was talking about my wife and he offered no apology.

Yes, I think his remarks are incendiary and serve no other purpose than to divide local residents. However, I believe Commissioner Barlow has the right to express himself no matter how many of us disagree with him, noting that his words will only cause division if we allow them to do so.

Here’s where I have to politely disagree with Chairman Brown. While he claims Barlow’s statements will only divide people if they are allowed to, it’s remarks like these that make it much more difficult for the Republican Party to expand its base.

Leo Smith, Minority Engagement Director for the Georgia GOP, tweeted this story yesterday morning. It’s a piece about the Republicans at Morehouse College. The young men talk about why blacks don’t vote for Republicans. In addition to saying that social issues like gay marriage keep people away from the GOP–an opinion shared by many white College Republicans–they brought this up:

[O]ne student blurted out “And Stop bashing Obama”. While everyone in the room considered themselves a Republican or Libertarian, every single person in that room thought highly of President Barack Obama the man, if not the politician.

“I respect the man, he’s done historic things” says political director Mark, dressed in a dapper suit and tie in the middle of the room,

”But Policy is fair game”.

There’s an old saying that you can’t unring a bell. Statements like Barlow’s and Facebook posts like this are not going to be helpful if the GOP hopes to expand beyond its current base.

6 comments

  1. griftdrift says:

    This is now my favorite sentence ever.

    “My passion for Jesus Christ and saving lives was wrongly portrayed by me this past Thursday evening. ”

    I’m not even sure where to start….

  2. Will Durant says:

    All he needs to do is throw in a little bit about it also being his duty to look after the children of Ham and he would be perfectly mimicking an antebellum populist Democrat.

  3. androidguybill says:

    Someone has to be the bad guy, so (loosely quoting Tombstone) I’m your huckleberry.

    1. Why don’t we ever see Democrats’ rushing to bash, trash, slice, dice, draw, quarter and eat their own when Democrats make extreme, outrageous, offensive speech? Or is it that left-liberal speech by definition can never be extreme or outrageous? I recall that Slate.com, the Atlantic.com, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the L.A. Times etc. all defended the Ferguson flyer, and similar tactics in the North Carolina campaign, and actually stated that the ones objecting to such tactics were the problem. And the next time Bill Maher gets taken to task for anything that he says (unless the target is Islam that is) will be the first. The GOP should refrain from eating their own until the Democrats start taking a bite or two out of their bomb throwers.

    2. GOP outreach to the black community is a waste of time and resources. The GOP is better off A) working to improve and increase its strength among white males (and the women who love them) by unabashedly advocating male economic, legal and social issues (starting with the terrible performance of males in public schools, and next the extremely unfair family court laws) and B) reaching out to Hispanic and Asian voters. Everyone assumes that Hispanics will be Democrats like they are in California and New York, but in Florida and Texas Hispanics are heavily Republican. If Georgia Republicans are able to make inroads into the local Hispanic communities before left-liberal groups like MALDEF, La Raza etc. are able to organize them, then they have a real shot. Similar efforts should be aimed at Asians before APALA and other left-liberal groups (which are far more prominent on the west coast) begins organizing in Georgia. The reality: blacks do not blame Democrats for bad outcomes (i.e. Detroit bankruptcy, loss of accreditation by Clayton County) nor do blacks credit Republicans for good ones (i.e. the huge expansion of the black middle class under Reagan and plenty of integration/affirmative action programs initiated by Eisenhower and Nixon). The reason for this is that blacks attribute most of their negative outcomes in America to “the racist white power structure.” And – as the thinking is – conservatives support and defend the racist white power structure and liberals are working to dismantle it. (Where does this thinking come from? Black leaders, public schools, the media, Hollywood … all of whom JUST HAPPEN to range from center-left to radical left. And when I say “the media” that includes the black media, especially but not merely black radio, which unlike the mainstream media makes absolutely no pretense of being evenhanded.)

    Conservatives made the mistake of not challenging this thinking in the era immediately following the civil rights movement. Instead, they felt that as the generation who experienced Jim Crow and the civil rights movement passed on and were replaced by blacks who were more upwardly mobile economically and who had been raised in more integrated surroundings (leading to less racial hostilities) more blacks would gravitate towards the GOP. Instead, the opposite has happened. Blacks have gone from voting 20%-25% GOP as late as the 70s/early 80s to >5% GOP today. Also, the black electorate has gotten more liberal. During the Reagan era, for instance, blacks generally supported the GOP position on the Cold War and on many social issues (and there was also a huge contingent of blacks that despised the Great Society). Example: “the war on drugs” in large part because black voters demanded it, which is why a lot of the drug laws, including the harsher penalties for crack cocaine, were enacted at the behest of John Conyers, Charlie Rangel and the Congressional Black Caucus. But today, most blacks oppose the death penalty/three strikes laws, support abortion, black support for gay marriage is nearly as high as the white support, and there is nowhere near the opposition to Obamacare that there was in some portions of the black community to Great Society programs, and blacks are now practically unwilling to acknowledge any negative outcomes associated with illegitimacy (where as late as the early Clinton era Jesse Jackson, Ebony Magazine etc. did acknowledge it as a major issue). So where the GOP had a lot more in common with a significant swath in the black community in the 70s and 80s, now the black community is far more liberal.

    An amazing thing: even blacks who flee dysfunctional urban areas governed by Democrats to ones with better schools, less crime, better economies etc. governed by Republicans continue to vote for the very same Democrats that governed the dysfunctional areas that they left. Case in point: Clayton County, where voters fleeing an Atlanta/Fulton that at the time was spiraling out of control actually elected Eldrin Bell (and similar), only to make Clayton County, which only a few years ago was well-governed with low crime, good schools and a vibrant business sector, even worse than the place that they left. So the opportunity to positively engage the black community has gone. That ship has sailed. So focus on A) white males, B) Hispanics and C) Asians.

    • John Konop says:

      ..GOP outreach to the black community is a waste of time and resources. The GOP is better off A) working to improve and increase its strength among white males (and the women who love them) by unabashedly advocating male economic, legal and social issues (starting with the terrible performance of males in public schools, and next the extremely unfair family court laws) and B) reaching out to Hispanic and Asian voters….

      LOL…..immigration fight is really helping…….We can get women by using “working to improve and increase its strength among white males (and the women who love them)” LOL…..You must be a democrat?

    • I don’t even know where to begin.

      As a white male with only a two year degree, boomer age, in the top 6% income bracket, I must say everything you said makes me sad to be in the same gender and skin tone as people like you. But I do commend your honesty in stating the way you feel.

      This election cycle has been enlightening how the unabashed far right quietly and logically presents their agenda to keep America divided and fighting each other, instead of the monied interests who run the real government.

      My my…what has my country become?

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